Chip Hilton Sports began presenting the award in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the season. The Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award honors a Division I men's basketball coach who through his actions on and off the court makes an outstanding contribution to the sport of college basketball. The criteria for this award include a coach's ability to inspire, motivate, coach, and educate his team to achieve its fullest potential awhile insisting upon and demonstrating outstanding character and academic success.
After the loss of the top three scorers from last season and the tragic death of incoming freshman Tobi Oyedeji in a May car accident, Turgeon guided a team that was picked no better than sixth in the Big 12 to a 24-win season and a third-place finish in one of the country’s toughest leagues. With the program’s school-record sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth last month, Turgeon became the only coach in school history to guide the Aggies to four straight NCAA berths and is the only one to record three consecutive winning seasons in Big 12 play.
The list of coaching finalists for the Clair Bee Award are:
Rick Byrd, Belmont
Brad Stevens, Butler
MARK TURGEON, TEXAS A&M